Fight doc stays focused

The sight of blood doesn't faze Vicki Mazzorana.

She sees it every day in her job as a physician in University Medical Center's trauma and emergency wards.

"I don't get squeamish," she said. "Any day in trauma or emergency is far worse than anything I see in boxing."

Mazzorana, 42, is only the second female fight doctor to work in Nevada, following Margaret Goodman, who served in that capacity from 1994 to 2005.

Like many boxing fans, Mazzorana wanted to be closer to the action. And when she moved to Las Vegas from the San Francisco Bay Area three years ago, she contacted the Nevada Athletic Commission about working as a ringside physician. Last year, she joined the NAC's medical staff, and the way she watched boxing would never be the same.

"It's a large responsibility," she said. "Your assessment of the fighters has a huge impact on the outcome of a fight. There's a lot of exterior pressures, but in the end, you do what's best for the fighter's health and safety. That always comes first."

Mazzorana said she hasn't encountered any resistance from the fighters or trainers she deals with because of her gender.

"I've never had a problem dealing with a fighter because I'm a woman," she said. "If I suggest they go to the hospital and get checked out and they resist because of what may be found, I simply tell them if they don't go they're going to be suspended. That usually puts an end to the resistance."

Mazzorana said her day job helps her at ringside.

"It makes me hyperacute," she said. "It helps me from overreacting in the ring."

She is pleased to see so many women involved in the sport and to have a role in boxing in the state.

"I like being part of a group of people who are passionate about the sport," she said. "It's way bigger than me. We're part of history.

"I just hope I'm still doing this 20 years from now."